How Do You Study and Maintain a Relationship?
Love is a Curious Thing. It manifests in various forms, with unadulterated degrees of intensity. One minute it can blindside people and the next, totally captivate your senses. As a journalist, I’m inherently drawn to exploring the sociology of human consciousness, and how we as a society, approach this unrelenting topic of ‘love.’ For those functioning independently, what does this word mean? Is it a coveted feeling or a desire to be satiated? And for the collective of couples, does it have a similar or completely different proposition? I also wonder, does it wane and became diluted with time and space …
Using the frame of ‘Love’ I’m currently investigating themes within this topic. The first is this series, called ‘The Pursuit of Knowledge” and centres on education. I’m enamoured by the adage ‘Knowledge is Power’ and, subsequently, how people mesh their love of learning with the love of their life. Irrespective, of whether the love is for him or her or another – hence, how do you then study and maintain a relationship?
Last year, when I was single, women who nurtured their marriage and academic education fascinated me. I asked Tania Sheward, a former BBC journalist, (with her husband for ten years), ‘How do you study and maintain a relationship?’ With both an undergrad and postgrad degrees, her philosophy is simple, “my relationship grows as a result of everything I learn.” Sheward advised, “the key thing, is the sharing”, and “trusting each others judgement to know when to stop – when to disconnect – and focus on time together.” This, she revealed, keeps their relationship healthy.
Elodie Silberstein, a French-Australian installation and performance artist, is also married, with a ten-year-old son. As a PhD applicant, setting boundaries is crucial. “It’s all about optimising time at work, and time at play.” Her home studio is designed so when her creative endeavours end, she closes the door and leaves. For Silberstein, it is about being ‘present in the moment’ with her family. “One of the issues I have, is not to be there physically – but to be there emotionally.” She also focuses on sharing, letting her study “become a family adventure. When I did a one month artist residency in Tokyo, they came and we spent one & a half weeks together.”
On the flip side of the coin, I wanted to know how single women became self-taught, and asked Terri Ann Daniels, self-made ‘Automation Specialist’ and founder of The Noise Method, ‘Why are you addicted to learning?’ With no formal education per se, she advised getting out of her own way, allowed her mind’s natural state to learn. From the moment she arises, being in a state of flow optimises her performance. “I believe my mind is a sponge, that’s its core purpose. If I have done anything [in my life], it is to try to get myself into a rhythm.” This helps inform her day, and enables her to stay “conscious in the moment.”
Life balance coach and communications specialist, Jess Ball, is a “student of life.” With an undergrad degree and Masters in coaching, she believes that, understanding yourself first – is a crucial step in learning. “I’m not just talking about knowledge from a text book, or what someone has told you, but what comes up from inside you, self-teaching – being our own parent.” As a former talent manager for high-profile acts in the entertainment industry, she has learnt to hold her own. “The more self-aware we can all become, the more there will be a different level to relating to people. I believe we are all here to learn how to relate to each other.”
There is certain poignancy to her thoughts and an empowering intent. “I am paying forward the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness.” She adds, pausing for reflection, “even though that is immeasurable, I can see the direct reflection in front of me. Especially through my clients, and other people in my life.”
As readers, and especially for females, these women want you to to know that as a woman, study can become an integral part of your life. Whether you are in a relationship, or outside of a relationship, it is possible and essential, if you feel that need. Honouring your quest for knowledge, creative pursuits, or stimulating your intellect and stepping into your worth, is attainable. These vital elements, can help you live out whatever your purpose is. LOVE of education is a truly an all encompassing thing, and potentially the greatest type of love to push humanity forward. These women show – it really is based on sharing knowledge.